How to Do a One Arm Push-up

Correct 1 Arm Pushup Skill

Understanding the accurate approach that should be utilized for a single hand pushup will help you understand the best way to generate the power essential to finish one arm push ups.  I will start by describing one hand push-up technique.  Then I will present a conditioning program to help you steadily establish the strength required to perfect the exercise.  

The keys to mastering the one arm pushup fast is to be aware of the areas of tension within your body while you complete the movement and maintaining your balance throughout.  

Most people who complete one arm push ups spread their legs quite wide.  This makes it easier to preserve balance when you carry out the exercise; however, to be true to form you would keep your legs a little closer and keep your shoulders and hips square with the floor.  The non-pressing hand ought to be held near your body with your arm behind your back .  This will also help you manage your center of gravity.  

With this technique the tension in your body runs from your pressing arm through your body to the opposite foot.  For instance, if you’re pressing with your right hand then the tension moves through your right hand across your body to the left foot.  You will see when you work toward your first one arm push-up that when pressing with your right hand, your right foot is going to have less weight on it than your left foot.

To obtain the whole range of flexion for this physical exercise you ought to lower your pressing shoulder until it virtually touches the floor.  You are going to need to turn you head from your pressing arm or look as much as make your shoulder that close to the ground without smashing your nose.

Like all push up variations, you must have your body rigid as well as your shoulders, hips, and feet should be on the same plane.  In other words, do not let your hips sag or point your butt at the sky. 

Constructing Strength for a 1 Hand Push-up

Developing the strength needed to achieve your very first full range 1 hand push-up can take some time, however it is an attainable goal and by following this progression you will see growth relatively quickly which will help keep you determined to succeed.

To give credit where it’s due, I will let you know that a lot of this progression I am about to show you came from an superb book known as Convict Conditioning. This book, written by Paul Wade, is a great book that describes the best way to construct functional strength and incredible power making use of absolutely nothing but your body weight.  As the title suggests this book was written whilst Paul was serving time and it is based largely on his experience not only in establishing his own strength but also while coaching other prisoners.  This book is an interesting read and Wade offers a unique and refreshing outlook on what it means to genuinely be strong and powerful.  I highly recommend looking into this book.  

The one arm pushup progression

Note that the book displays 10 steps for achieving mastery of the 1 arm push-up.  I am only talking about the last six steps of the progression for 1 arm push ups.

The very first goal is to be able to do 2 sets of 20 standard push ups.  As soon as you are able to do this, you need to start practicing diamond pushups where your index and thumb are touching as you total the physical exercise.  Once it is possible to do 2 sets of 20 diamond pushups, move on to uneven pushups where one hand is elevated forcing you to put far more weight on the fully outstretched arm.  Soon after this you are able to move to half 1 arm push-ups which means lowering yourself only halfway down prior to pressing up.  Soon after doing two sets of 20 of these for each arm then it is possible to move to full one arm pushups.